On June 18th VIBE Agency hosted Good Vibe USA – a unique virtual symposium featuring subjects and industry experts from travel, hospitality, media production, finance, motivational speaking, and beyond. It was a groundbreaking step forward into a new era of communication and idea exchange, complete with teambuilding activities. Valerie Bihet, the host for the event, provides an inside look at how the event was developed and what it means for future virtual events.
Q. What was the inspiration behind Good Vibe USA?
VB: The event originally was created in response to everyone’s concerns about what COVID-19 means for sthe future of our various industries. Many businesses have been asking us what to expect when it comes to marketing and events in a world where social distancing is likely to remain in effect for quite some time. Good Vibe USA was a great opportunity for many people to virtually come together and share their insights.
More importantly, it allowed us to demonstrate all that is possible for online and digital events that people may not have realized was available. By “living” the experience, our attendees and contributors were able to expand their view of digital event marketing with a front-row seat to the future.
Q. Tell us a little about how the event worked.
VB: It was what we’d call an “open invitation” event in which anyone could participate if they had the link to the event and had pre-registered via email. We then brought in video technology to lead a sort of round table discussion with our contributors with a chat function enabled for the audience of attendees to provide questions and comments in real time. To make that possible, we leveraged our relationship with one of our agency partners – ChoYou. They were an instrumental “boots on the ground” tech facilitator for us, managing registrations, streaming, reporting and more.
The event itself focused around three themes, with different panelists offering insight on each topic.
- Resilience: what kinds of changes are taking place in response to the COVID-19 crisis? Which adjustments businesses can do “right now”? What has our agency done thus far? Our speaker for that portion was Doug Manuel, an excellent motivational speaker who set the tone for the event by lifting morale across the board.
- Virtual events: what does the event world look like when we take it all digital? What can we do that’s new and exciting? How do we solve for challenges? For that portion, we were joined by
- Christophe Goudy, Digital Marketing & Virtual Event Director at ChoYou
- Tom Scalabre, Creative Director at Studio SUPERBIEN
- Sandra Abi-Rashed, Partner & Managing Director for Chez Happyfication North America
- Vincent Bruneau, Founder & CEO of Sparkup
- Impact on Hospitality and Food & Beverage Industries: real insights about how these businesses are pivoting rapidly in the face of dramatic changes to their landscapes. That discussion was led by Annabelle Ballot Pottier – Account Manager for Lufthansa Group; Frédéric Joulin, Chef and Entrepreneur from Miami; and Omar Soubra, Director of Marketing & Communication, Dassault Systèmes
At the end, everyone was invited to join in on a virtual escape room teambuilding game which encouraged people to collaborate and share ideas for solving various puzzles – much like you would in a physical escape room – except these puzzles happened online and teams needed to work together to get to the next digital “room.”
Q. How has the event been received so far?
VB: Response was overwhelmingly positive. I think many people were excited and pleasantly surprised to see that the platform VIBE Agency offers is well beyond what we’ve gotten used to on Zoom calls and other video chat clients. That’s the advantage of working with an experienced partner for event marketing as opposed to ad-libbing solutions around whatever is free. The Good Vibes USA experience was streamlined, easy to navigate, and flowed much like a traditional event with a good mix of different kinds of interactions.
Q. Any lessons learned?
VB: Like any event, there were some challenges we had to tackle. There was some very bad weather taking place during the presentation, so internet and electricity were affected somewhat. We also realized that with so many speakers it was going to be difficult to stay within our 2-hour time window. In the future we’ll probably feature fewer speakers and do more events rather than extend the time frame. We also feel like we can enhance the interactivity in the future – starting with some screen adjustments that will allow people to maximize views of speakers, hosts, etc.
Q. What’s next for Good Vibe USA?
VB: Building on the success of the first event, which was primarily directed at our European partners and clientele, we are already putting together a second Good Vibe USA. This time, we’ll be inviting our North-American-based audience to join us.
That event will take place on August 27th.
About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry. The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019.